Saturday, August 02, 2008

Giant OCR C2 : Close Up

Here it is ... my pride and joy, the Giant OCR C2, perched on my Ultimate Bike stand. I don't know what's happened to Ultimate Bike Stands. Their website seems to have been assimilated for the last few weeks and accessories seem to be hard to source. I hope they're still up and running. This is a good bike stand. The .pdf brochure is here.

Anyway, the bike is fairly bog-standard apart from the stem / handlebar combination which is still under review and described below. The pedals are Shimano Ultegras, a considerable upgrade from my old PD-R540s; nice and smooth and positive, but not knee- or ankle-breaking engagement and disengagement.

When I had the bike set up for me by Jason at Halter's Cycles, he had me adopt a slightly more forward, upright position. I don't disagree with the slightly more forward stance. I think this showed its potential on my last ride.

However, I think I'd still prefer if the bars were maybe an inch / 25mm further forward and downward and 0.75 inch / 20mm wider. However, I'll leave it for a little longer. Who knows? Jason might be right. The hardware is a Salsa stem and 42cm FSA Wing Pro compact drops. with Fizik gel inserts and tape.
The drive chain is 100% SRAM; 10-speed rear and double chain-wheel - 20 speeds altogether. My old bike was 3x9speed; 27 gears with a slightly larger range. I have tended to spin out on downhills and resort to the granny-gear on climbs so it remains to be seen if my developing fitness will cope with the hills. Perhaps I go fast enough downhill anyway ...

What concerns me is the difficulty of standing on the pedals on climbs. I'm not certain if this is just because the Giant is a sharper, more poised bike which requires just that extra bit of control / skill, or a function of the shorter / narrower handlebar setup.

The brakes are certainly an improvement on the Trek. It's possible to lock the rear wheel at speed with finger-tip pressure - as I found out - with a similarly effective front brake, so maybe a slightly lower downhill speed can be made up for with sharper braking. For sure, the frame was very steady at speed with significantly less flex than the aluminium Trek. Having said that, the Trek never gave me cause for concern, unlike a 25inch Vitus tubed Peugeot with seamed forks used to do. To see those forks flex 1.5 inches at 40mph was sobering ...

More impressions soon ...